by Lisa A. Grimaldi | June 19, 2017
President Trump signed a new Cuba policy into effect on Friday that ends individual people-to-people travel to Cuba, though travelers still can visit the country as part of tour groups. The policy is a reversal of the eased restrictions put in place in 2016 by the Obama administration.
 
"Easing restrictions on travel and trade does not help the people, it only enriches the Cuban regime," Trump said in a speech shortly before signing the new order. "The profits flow directly to the military. The regime takes the money and owns the industry."
 
"It's hard to think of a policy that makes less sense that the prior administration's terrible and misguided deal with the Castro regime," Trump said. "They made a deal with a government that spreads violence and instability in the region. Those days are over."
 
The new policy was not expected to affect flights or cruises from the U.S. to Cuba, according to press reports; stay tuned to M&C for updates, including how the new policy might affect meetings and incentives, as they become available. Click here to view details of the policy.

The New York Times pointed out that lovers of Cuban cigars and rum, as well as Starwood Hotels, which has a deal to run a hotel in Havana, can rest easy. According to the paper, "The policy represents a middle ground between hard-liners in Congress, including Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, both Florida Republicans who have called for a complete reversal of Mr. Obama's Cuba policy, and business leaders, human rights groups and many of Mr. Trump's own advisers who wanted to preserve it."